New Arrivals, Current Reading September 23 – 29, 2013

Autumn has arrived, and with it typical Portland Fall weather: cooler, some rain, goodbye to high 70s and above until next late June, at the earliest.

Update: Though the rain and some wind hasn’t let up since Friday, the major second part of the storm hit yesterday afternoon. Comcast went out with less than a minute to go in a very close game, then we lost power again for half an hour. So we just went to sleep. Looks okay this morning, though still windy and raining. No, I see from the satellite that the third wave is due to hit us near Noon today.

It’s always a treat to get a package of books from Barry Ergang. Barry is a frequent contributor to Friday Forgotten Books, and also he sells books. He has neat stuff, and the books are as scanned and as described verbally (if verbal description is necessary) so you don’t wind up with a lousy copy. You can check out his site HEREI just got this batch of mysteries from him.

These four are by Stephen Marlowe, all featuring the spy-detective Chester Drum. I’ve read a few Drum books and they were very entertaining.

Danger is My Line [Fawcett Gold Medal 1960, used] – mystery
Drum Beat – Berlin [Fawcett Gold Medal 1964, used] – mystery
Drum Beat – Dominique [Fawcett Gold Medal 1965, used] – mystery
Drum Beat – Erica [Fawcett Gold Medal 1967, used] – mystery

These next five novels feature one-armed New York private eye Dan Fortune. Written by Michael Collins (pseudonym of Dennis Lynds) in the 1960s, they were reprinted by Playboy Press with these new covers in the years shown. I read one a long time ago and remember liking it, so I grabbed these when I saw them.

Shadow of A Tiger [Playboy Press 1978 mass market paperback, used] – mystery
The Silent Scream [Playboy Press 1979 mass market paperback, used] – mystery
Blue Death [Playboy Press 1979 mass market paperback, used] – mystery
Act of Fear [Playboy Press 1980 mass market paperback, used] – mystery
The Brass Rainbow [Playboy Press 1980 mass market paperback, used] – mystery

After reading of the death of Robert Barnard last week, I decided to read one of his mysteries, and have pulled a couple off the shelf. I’m currently halfway through Out of the Blackout. I’ll also read Death in A Cold Climate and do a review of both or my favorite of the two.

I’m about a third way into The Penguin Science Fiction Omnibus, the SF short story collection I picked up recently and shown in New Arrivals two weeks ago. I read The Lost City which was a lot of fun. Also read, for a Friday Forgotten Books post, Eleven by Patricia Highsmith (see review last Friday). I’m continuing to really enjoy the book of SF reviews by Algis Budrys, I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. Unfortunately, it’s caused me to go looking for several older SF books, but that’s okay. Now I have this batch to read. As I look about, there’s so much to read here, it’s hard to know what to start next, once I finish the things that now have bookmarks in them. I guess it’s a good problem to have.

So, what did YOU get, new, used or from the library, and
what have you been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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17 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading September 23 – 29, 2013

  1. Evan Lewis says:

    The score for the five authors you mention:
    Rick 5, Evan 0

  2. Jerry House says:

    A nice haul, Rick. I’ve enjoyed the Chet Drum series, and most of the other books by Marlowe that I’ve read. I’ve found that I can only read Collins/Lynds in small doses — no more than two books in a row; don’t know why because he was a very good writer.

    I’m on the tail end of a bug that limited my week. The only books I read were F. Paul Wilson’s graphic novel version of THE KEEP and Manly Wade Wellman’s BATTLE IN THE DAWN: THE COMPLETE HOK THE MIGHTY. (Actually only those parts not in HOK THE MIGHTY, which I had read the other week: two stories, a fragment, and a brief autobiography.) I’m about a third of the way into Joe Lansdale’s THE THICKET.

    And the books keep piling up. My local library is holding Martin Greenberg’s FIVE SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS (that’s the bad Martin Greenberg, not the good Martin H. Greenberg) and ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S FIRESIDE BOOK OF SUSPENSE, the 1940’s precursor to his paperback anthology SUSPENSE.

  3. Like Jerry, I really like the Chester Drum series. You’ll enjoy the Michael Collins books, too. I’m in the middle of THE DIRE EARTH trilogy. I’m giving my students the first round of exams next week so I’ll be slowed down by correcting.

  4. Not very familiar with Collins.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    My favorite Chester Drum was the double effort Marlowe wrote with Richard S. Prather featuring Drum and Shell Scott, DOUBLE IN TROUBLE. I read a couple of collections of Dan Fortune stories, one you might have as it was published by Crippen & Landru.

    This week: another good one as there were no new arrivals. I read a couple more of my books, First was MR. MONK IS MISERABLE (so what else is new?) by Lee Goldberg, which picks up immediately after the last one and takes place in Paris. The other was NIGHTMARE AGE, edited by Frederik Pohl, which I picked up after Bill Crider’s review a few weeks back.

    The only library book read was the very dark but excellent THE THICKET by Joe R. Lansdale. Let’s just say I can see why it has been compared to TRUE GRIT.

  6. Richard says:

    Evan, you might enjoy the Chester Drum books by Stephen Marlowe.

  7. Richard says:

    Jerry, sorry to hear you’ve been sick. Reminds me I need to get my flu shot. I have, but have not read, that Hok collection. How is The Thicket? Your library must hang on to more old things than the one here. Here they tend to rotate older books into the used book store and sell them.

  8. Richard says:

    George, I’ve read a few Drum books and liked them, so I was glad to come across these. As Jeff has commented in his comment after yours, I have a C&L collection of his Dan Fortune shorts (unread). Exams, the bane of teacher and student alike, I guess.

  9. Richard says:

    Jeff, I have a C&L collection of his Dan Fortune shorts (unread).The Double in Trouble sounds very familiar, I may have it with my Shell Scott books, I need to check. I’ve not seen Monk TV show nor read any of the books. That Fred Pohl book is pretty old, yes?

  10. Richard says:

    Charles, me either, though I already had a ss collection I hadn’t read it.

  11. Barry Ergang says:

    Jerry, I agree that the Dan Fortune novels are not ones you gobble up one after the other. The reason, I think, is that they’re somewhat more obviously literary in their approach than you find in most private eye novels, and they tend to move a bit more slowly. This is not to denigrate their quality; they’re very good, and Lynds was an excellent writer.

    Here are my reviews of a couple of the titles mentioned in these comments, should anyone be interested:×600-normal-0-false-false-false-en.html <–DOUBLE IN TROUBLE

  12. Jerry House says:

    Marlowe, by the way, was Milton Lesser before he legally changed his name. As Lesser, he wrote a number of the Winston “Adventures in SF” books in the 50s and early 60s. I’ve heard that many of the books in that series were based on plots supplied by Lesser and by Lester del Rey. Marlowe also did a number of Ripley’s Believe It or Not mysteries in the early 60s as by “Jason Ridgeway.” He also published mysteries as by “C. H. Thames,” “Andrew Frazer,” and one by “Ellery Queen” (the first of the EQ paperback originals — DEAD MAN’S TALE), as well as a science fiction novel (with Paul Fairman) as “Adam Chase.” Pat Hawk cites a letter from Michael Avallone which claims that Marlowe ghost-wrote three Mickey Spillane stories — that claim I’m taking with a grain of salt.

    In addition to the Dan Fortune and other stories written under the Collins pen name, Dennis Lynds wrote mystery novels as by “John Crowe,” “Carl Dekker,” “Mark Sadler,” and “William Arden.” As Arden, he also took over the Three Investigator series from Robert Arthur. Lynds also wrote at least seven of Nick Carter Killmaster novels and (with his wife, Gayle Lynds) two Don Pendleton Executioner books, as well as a passel of Mike Shayne and Man from U.N.C.L.E. stories foe the digests.

    Two busy guys, indeed.

  13. Richard says:

    Jerry, you are a fountain of information. I hadn’t done any research, so knew none of that (though I’ll bet Bill Crider and others here did) and I always find who wrote what else fascinating. Thanks!

  14. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Rick, the Pohl book first came out in 1970, though the stories were originally published between 1951 and 1966, with the majority being from the 1950s. They are sort of a dystopian view of what the future might be like, and a few of them come close in some ways.

    In addition to those mentioned by Jerry I think Lynds wrote a Charlie Chan novelization. Just checked Hubin: it was CHARLE CHAN RETURNS (1974).

    Sorry about your weather – we saw a little of the Northwest rain on the news – especially as we’re having a string of absolutely gorgeous days. They are predicting 77-83 over the high five days.

  15. Richard says:

    Jeff, yep I have Double in Trouble (I show it as Shell Scott # 16, but I’m not sure where that number came from…)

    As far as the weather is concerned, rain doesn’t usually faze us, but this has been a whopper of a storm from that typhoon which picked up huge amounts of rain as it crossed the Pacific and blew in with unusually high wind to boot.

  16. Art Scott says:

    For those who care about such things, the cover art on the Marlowes is by Barye Phillips, Stan Zuckerberg, Bob McGinnis, Bob McGinnis, masters all. Can’t ID the Lynds artists, looks like 2, maybe 3 different. The first one has a Ted Coconis look to it.

  17. Richard says:

    Thanks, Art, always appreciate the ID of the cover artists. My favorite of these four is the Zuckerberg.

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